Ottawa Launches Pilot Program to Train Personal Support Workers through Willis College

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

Will this program be extended throughout Ontario?

OTTAWA has just anounced that the Ontario government is providing $2.4 million to train up to 300 personal support workers for positions in long-term care homes in the Ottawa area. This initiative is part of the province's historic long-term care staffing plan released in December 2020.

Our ambitious staffing plan is part of our government's commitment to solving the long-standing and systemic challenges the long-term care sector has faced after decades of neglect and underfunding," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "By working closely with partners like Willis College, we will deliver on our promise to provide our loved ones with the quality of life they deserve. I want to congratulate those students who are beginning a rewarding career in long-term care."

A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan is the province's plan to increase the hours of direct care for residents to an average of four hours per day over four years, making the province a leader in Canada. To help meet this commitment, the plan sets out actions to hire more staff, improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies. As part of the new pilot program, the province will invest up to $2.4 million to fund the training costs of up to 300 students, starting in January 2021. Following a unique delivery model, this program will pair four days of academic instruction with one day of volunteer experience at a long-term care home per week. By experiencing real-world situations prior to clinical placements, students will not only gain a stronger understanding of the long-term-care sector, but will also be better prepared to transition smoothly into the workforce upon graduation.

Personal support workers are unsung heroes," said Rima Aristocrat, Chair, Willis College. "Being part of the Ontario government's plan to ease the burden on long-term care is indeed an honour. Willis College will provide highly trained PSWs, who in turn will become an asset in the fight against COVID-19."

Is this a sign that they will extend this program to other areas in Ontario to help Assisted Living and Long Term Care facilities meet their challenging demands?

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